June 11, 2021

The Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness

From hard to soft in Amazon recommendations.

Recommended when I looked up this book trying to track down if the following quote was, in fact, really from a science textbook.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 11:26 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 39 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Kaku and the Rovelli probably should be switched. 

Dover has some nice texts.  Cheap coverage of some topics that are usually a lot more expensive, at least in paper.

Took me a while to realize why you might have wondered if it was a real quote.

Even now, Statistical Mechanics is supposed to worse than Continuum Mechanics. 

Back then, before Fisher's statistics, and other recent developments in statistics, I can see it being a lot worse.  Might have been the sort of thing that takes a pretty extreme personality type to study. 

You totally should read up on statistical mechanics approaches to super sonic reacting turbulent flows.  Would definitely suck less than trying to follow the current political situation very closely. 

I'm pretty sure that statistical mechanics is one of those topics that needs a pretty good foundation, and to avoid unreasonable expectations for what one is able to learn. 

Posted by: PatBuckman at Fri Jun 11 13:21:36 2021 (6y7dz)

2 I read the kindle edition of The High Frontier. It came off as kind of ... pie in the sky - if you will. Although after thinking about the design of O'Neill colonies, I had an idea for improving the ratio of land to window space, and simultaneously improving the light gathering capabilities of the mirrors for colonies out, say, in the orbit of Mars, or further.

(Short form. Windows can be narrower if you parabolically curve the mirrors so the focus is near, but not at, the window, and spreads across a wider swath of land. You can similarly double-up, so that two mirrors, focused through two adjacent windows, light the same swath of land - AND have two mirrors each shining through the same slot aimed at different lands.)

Posted by: Mauser at Fri Jun 11 22:30:39 2021 (Ix1l6)

3 The island designs are definitely soft. You can look the flywheels in some editions of the machinery's handbook, and apply the thinking to any spinning colony design. Colony bursts in Gundam should be more frequent.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Sat Jun 12 08:46:07 2021 (6y7dz)

4 Ugh, more gratuitous shoehorning of quantum mechanics into things where it isn't essential, and doesn't help.

There is a classical version of statistical mechanics. It deals with the lengths of time a system spends within various positions in an abstract configuration space. Classical positional entropy is proportional to ln(V). Classical entropies only have meaning in a relative sense, because they relate ratios of phase volumes between states.

Posted by: MadRocketSci at Sat Jun 12 18:31:20 2021 (hRoyQ)

5 They're basically doing all the same stuff, they're just dividing up their velocity configuration space into cubes of size related to hbar/m. No additional physical content.

Posted by: MadRocketSci at Sat Jun 12 18:35:04 2021 (hRoyQ)

6 One of the reviews thought that the book was useful for solid state physics. 

Is it possible that the quantum version of statistical mechanics is useful for a deeper understanding of very tiny electrical gates?

Posted by: PatBuckman at Sat Jun 12 19:58:07 2021 (6y7dz)

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